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Post Series: Asian Handicap

Have you ever thought that a team would probably win a game, but avoided the selection because due to the threat of a draw? You’re not alone.

After all, just under 1 in 4 Premier League matches ends in a stalemate, and this can spell disasters for singles and accumulators alike. Therefore, removing that possibility is something that appeals to thousands of punters up and down the country. Betting on the Asian handicap lines is the perfect way to do it.

The benefits of Asian handicap betting don’t stop there, and mastering this market can become one of the best weapons in your betting arsenal. First up, though, you must learn a bit more about those lines and how they can be utilised for profit. This guide will tell you everything.

What is Asian Handicap Betting?

Asian handicap betting covers markets where the bookies place a fictional starting score on the event. In a football match, for example, you may find that the away team is given a one goal head start. As such, bets on this market will usually fall into two ideas.

Backing a favourite to win by a bigger margin than just the one goal in order to gain better odds than the 1×2 coupon offers.
Backing an underdog to perform well without taking the risk of betting them to win on the 1×2 slip.

There are many other factors, such as the aforementioned safety net of refunds on the draw for potentially even matches, to consider. Once you understand the details of this market, it can be a very attractive prospect as you bid to perfect your betting strategies.

The Betting Terminology of an Asian Handicap Bettor

First and foremost, anyone hoping to make money from the Asian handicap lines should familiarise themselves with the standard betting glossary. From accumulators and bankroll management to wagers and staking plans, a better understanding of general sports betting is advised. Meanwhile, odds are almost always shown in the decimal format, so those used to fractional odds may need to get used to this too.

However, there are a number of terms that should be known by those specifically looking at this market.

Half win: Half of stake paid out as a winner at the confirmed odds. Other half refunded.
Half loss: Half of stake returned. Other half lost.
Push: Entire stake returned.

Which Events Can I Bet On?

Asian handicap betting can be offered on a variety of sports. If the event can offer European handicap bets, it’s likely that the Asian alternatives will be possible too. However, football is the most common by a considerable distance. Most matches from the major leagues will offer this market. It isn’t always possible on the obscure leagues, but the volume of those being included by traders continues to increase each season.

In addition to finding the events where the lines are available, you need to consider the Asian handicap bookmakers. Again, the number offering Asian lines is always increasing, although some are better than others.

Asian Handicap Lines Bets Explained

At a glance, the Asian handicap markets can seem confusing for an inexperienced punter. In reality, though, the fact that they remove the threat of losing bets due to draws (either on the 1×2 coupon or the European handicap) makes things very simple – you just need to make the effort of understanding what those numbers mean.

Asian handicap lines are ultimately broken into four sections, in which you can back either side of the market. Here’s a guide to those different lines.

The 0.0 Asian Handicap Line

The 0.0 Asian handicap line is essentially identical to the ‘draw no bet’ market. Neither side is given a hypothetical head start. So, if your chosen team wins the match, you win the bet. Likewise, if your team loses, you’ll lose the bet. The only difference from a standard match result bet is that a draw would result in a push.

This is the easiest Asian handicap line to understand because the parameters are identical for both teams involved.

Breakdown Of Bets:

Team A and Team B are both offered on the 0.0 Asian handicap line. When betting on Team A, the following outcomes are possible:

Team A win the match, your bet wins and is paid out at the full odds.
Team B win the match, your bet loses and your stake is lost.
The game ends in a draw, your bet is pushed and your stake is returned.

When betting on Team B, the following outcomes are possible:

Team A win the match, your bet loses and your stake is lost.
Team B win the match, your bet wins and is paid out at the full odds.
The game ends in a draw, your bet is pushed and your stake is returned.

The +1/-1 Asian Handicap Line

Otherwise known as the “one goal Asian handicap line”, the +1 or -1 line is where a team is given a fictional one goal lead or deficit by the bookmaker. So, the favourite will start from a 1-0 losing position while the underdog will have a 1-0 head start.

This essentially means that you’ll need a team on the -1 line to win by at least two goals to secure a winning bet. However, there is the safety net of a potential refund if the team only wins by one. Conversely, when backing a team on the +1 line, you want them to avoid defeat but know you’ll get a push should they only lose by the single goal.

The easiest way to understand this market is to think of it as a ‘draw no bet’ selection, only with the hypothetical goal taken into account.

Breakdown of Bets: Scenario 1- Plus One Goal

Team A is available on the -1 Asian handicap line while Team B is on a +1 goal handicap. When betting on Team A, the following outcomes could occur:

Team A wins by two or more goals. The bet wins and you are paid out at the full odds.
Team A wins by one goal exactly (1-0, 2-1, 3-2, etc). The bet is pushed and your stake is returned.
Team B avoids defeat in the match. The bet loses and your stake is lost.

Alternatively, if backing Team B on the +1 Asian line, the possibilities are:

Team A wins by two or more goals. The bet loses and your stake is lost.
Team A wins by one goal (1-0, 2-1, etc). The bet is pushed and your stake is returned.
Team B draws or wins the game. The bet wins and you are paid out at the full odds.

Breakdown of Bets: Scenario 2 – Plus Two Goals

Team A is available on the -2 Asian handicap line. Conversely, Team B is on a +2 head start. If backing Team A on this line, the possible outcomes are:

Team A wins the game by three or more goals. The bet wins and you are paid out at the full odds.
Team A wins the game by exactly two goals. The bet is pushed and your stake is returned.
Team B wins, draws, or loses by only one goal. The bet loses and your stake is lost.

If backing Team B in this situation, the following outcomes are possible:

Team A wins the game by three or more goals. The bet loses and your stake is lost.
Team A wins the game by exactly two goals. The bet is pushed and your stake is returned.
Team B wins, draws, or loses by one goal. The bet wins and you are paid out at the full odds.

Depending on the event and gulf in quality, the line could extend to three or more goals. Whatever the line is set at, it follows the same pattern only with the margin of victory adjusted accordingly.

The +0.5/-0.5 Asian Handicap Line

The “half goal Asian handicap line” is very similar to the +1/-1 line, but with the head start being reduced to just half a goal. Given that it’s impossible to score half a goal, this removes the threat of a draw. So, your bet becomes a two outcome selection. In this sense, it’s one of the easiest to comprehend.

For a pre-game selection, a pick on the -0.5 line is effectively the same as backing them to win on the 1×2 coupon while backing a team on a +0.5 line is the same as a ‘double chance’ bet.

Breakdown of Bets:

Team A is available on a -0.5 handicap while Team B are on the +0.5 line. So, when backing team A, the possible outcomes are as follows:

Team A wins the game. The bet wins and you are paid out.
Team A either draws or loses. The bet is lost and your stake is lost.

Conversely, when backing Team B on the reverse +0.5 handicap line, the following can happen:

Team A wins the game. The bet is lost and your stake is lost.
Team B wins or draws the match. The bet wins and you are paid out.

As well as a half goal head start, the line may offer a goal-and-a-half (1.5). In some leagues, you may even see lines of 2.5, 3.5, etc.

The +0.25/-0.25 Asian Handicap Line

The “quarter goal Asian handicap line” is the most daunting at a glance, and also the most complicated to understand for an inexperienced punter. In truth, it’s not that tough to understand. You are essentially breaking a bet into two parts, consisting 50% on the 0 Asian line and 0 on the 0.5 Asian line.

As far as bets are concerned, this creates the chance to split the risk of losing by providing that possibility of a half loss. Likewise, the half win gives you a shot at increasing the odds while still receiving some profit if the margin of victory (compared to the line taken) is minimal.

In addition to 0.25, there are 0.75 lines (half 0.5 and half 1.0). Again, punters can back either the favourite on a – handicap line or an outsider on the + line.

Breakdown of Bets: Scenario 1 – The ¼ Line

Team A is available on a -0.25 Asian handicap while Team B has a +0.25 goal head start. The possibilities when backing Team A are:

Team A wins the game, clearing both the 0 and -0.5 parts of the bet. The bet wins and you are paid out fully.
The game is drawn. The 0 part of the bet is pushed while the -0.5 part loses. This is a half loss.
Team A loses the game. Both the 0 and -0.5 parts of the bet have lost. The stake is lost too.

Alternatively, if backing Team B in this scenario on a +0.25 handicap, the following outcomes are possible:

Team A wins the game. Both the 0 and +0.5 parts of the bet lose. The bet and stake is lost.
The game is drawn. The 0 part of the bet is pushed while the +0.5 part wins. This is a half win.
Team B wins the match. Both the 0 and the +0.5 parts of the bet win You are paid out fully.

The same rules apply for lines of 1.25, 2.25, etc. You will simply need to adjust the winning margins in accordance to the individual line.

Breakdown of Bets: Scenario 2 – The ¾ Line

Team A is on the -0.75 line while Team B is priced on the +0.75 line. If backing A, these are your outcomes:

Team A wins the game by two goals or more. Both the -0.5 and -1 parts of the bet have been cleared. This is a full win and you are paid out at the full odds.
Team A wins the game by one goal exactly. The -0.5 part has been cleared while the -1 is pushed. Half the bet is paid at full odds while the other half is refunded. Half win.
Team A fails to win the game. Both parts of the bet lose and the stake is lost.

When backing Team B in this scenario, the possible outcomes are as follows:

Team A wins the game by at least two goals. Both the +0.5 and +1 goal head starts have lost. Bet lost.
Team A wins the game by one goal. The +1 line is pushed while the +0.5 loses. This is a half refund.
Team B draws or wins. Both the +0.5 and +1 lines are cleared, and you are paid out at the full odds.

If the line is shown as 1.75 or 2.75, the same principles are used, only with the margin of victory updated to reflect the line.

In-Play Asian Handicap Lines

In addition to pre-game betting, several bookmakers offer in-play Asian handicap lines. This allows you to respond to the action as it unfolds.

When betting while the score is 0-0, everything is exactly the same. However, you should know that (as far as bet settlements are concerned) the score resets to 0-0 with each goal until the moment when you confirm your selection. So, if Team A is winning 1-0 when you back them on a -1 Asian handicap, they’ll need to win the match by two goals for a refund and three goals for a win. If it stays 1-0, your bet would lose.

Other Asian Handicap Markets

In addition to the standard Asian handicap goal markets, it will be possible (on selected events) to choose other Asian handicap markets. The list includes;

  • First-half Asian handicap lines
  • Corner Asian handicap lines
  • First-half corner Asian handicap lines
  • Cards Asian handicap line
  • Goal line (total goals but with potential pushes)
  • First-half goal lines

While most punters find that the standard Asian handicap match result lines are the best, it’s worth looking at those additional markets too.

The Final Word

Asian handicap lines may look a little complex and complicated, but getting to grips with them is actually quite easy. Once you do understand them, a plethora of new betting options become available on every event offering those markets. Whether it’s reducing the risks to gain pushes and half refunds or increasing the potential payouts without putting yourself at greater danger of a loss, those tools are very handy additions.

In turn, this can only put you in a stronger position in your quest to bash the bookies on a consistent basis.

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